Things to do in Versailles, France
We share Versailles tips by our guest writer Ashley Daley
One of the very first “touristy” places we visited when we moved to Paris was the beautiful gardens of the Chateau de Versailles.
It was August and the gardens were stunning. It was a wonderful way to introduce us to France.
Since then, we’ve returned to the Chateau many times and even got an annual pass.
Palace of Versailles
When you think about a chateau, at first you might not think it’s a great place to visit with children.
While the chateau itself is far from stroller friendly and can be crowded during high tourist season, the gardens and other smaller buildings on the grounds can be the perfect place to enjoy French culture while allowing your kids some space to run around (and not get lost among all the people).
Gardens of Versailles
Below are some of my favourite places and activities to take our two girls at Chateau de Versailles:
Gardens in le domaine de Marie-Antoinette
This is located all the way in the back of the properties, past the main gardens and is part of the Petit Trianon.
While it can be a pleasant walk from the main palace, it can take about 20 minutes to get there.
There’s also separate parking closer to the Petit Trianon if you’re only interested in visiting this area.
This is my all time favourite place in Versailles, France.
There’s a chateau that you can tour that was Marie Antoinette’s personal domain, but the real treasure is the garden out back, along with her hamlet where she used to dress up as a peasant.
It’s the perfect place for a picnic and for allowing children to run around. In the summer there are wild daisies and beautiful red poppies everywhere.
The hamlet itself almost appears to be a scene out of Disneyland with its thatched-roof buildings, watermill, and lake (complete with swans).
The best part is the small, working farm with goats, sheep, rabbits, pigs, and more that families can come see. We’ve spent several afternoons admiring all the animals.
Grand Trianon and Gardens
Right next to Marie Antoinette’s personal palace is the Grand Trianon, the King’s “home away from home”.
It’s a much smaller chateau than the main palace and has always been far less crowded. Families can easily and quickly tour the estate.
There’s even a beautiful Mirror Room where the King would hold councils.
Parents will appreciate how gorgeous it is while children can have fun looking into all the mirrors.
After touring the chateau, there is a lovely private garden out back that is stroller friendly and a great place for kids to run around (and smell all the beautiful flowers!).
Musical Fountains Show
During the summer and beginning of fall, the estate offers the opportunity to watch their musical fountains show. It’s a great way to explore the main gardens while watching the fountains play to period music.
Maps are given out showing where all the different fountains are along with ideas for walking paths in order to enjoy the show to its fullest.
We’ve only managed to attend once (shows are during certain dates and times – check the chateau’s calendar for details), but our girls loved it and were captivated by the water moving along with the music.
The gardens are beautiful all on their own, but exploring them with the period music and fountains make it a little more special.
We love exploring Versailles with our two little ones and I hope that these suggestions can help make a trip to the chateau a little more special for your family too!
Chateau de Versailles is only a 50-minute train ride from the magical city of Paris. For some tips and insights into visiting here with kids, we love these posts from Ashley Daley, WanderlustCrew, Our Globe Trotters and GlobetrottingGrommets
Plan Your Trip -Chateau de Versailles how to get there
To help make your trip to Versailles easier, here are some answers to common questions.
How far is Versailles from Paris?
Chateau de Versailles is located 28km from the beautiful city of Paris making a day trip to Versailles a great option.
Need flights to explore Paris? Click here to find out the best deals.
Getting to Versailles from Paris is easy, with a few different options.
Fancy driving through the French countryside?
Paris to Versailles an hour drive and there is parking at the destination.
Paris to Versailles Train
Alternatively, you can catch the RER line C train which will take you to Versailles Chateau – Rive Gauche train station. Then it is a 10-minute walk to the Palace.
There is also a shuttle express from Paris. To find out more click here.
Fancy staying in a Palace or Chateau?
Chateau de Versailles hours
Opening times for the Palace vary between 9am-6:30pm depending on the time of year. The palace is closed on Mondays and some public holidays so check before arriving.
The Estate of Trianon and Coach Gallery are only open in the afternoons.
The Gardens and Park are open daily and timings vary between 7.00 am to 8.30 pm depending on the time of year and weather conditions. Access is free to these areas and there are a variety of Versailles activities to enjoy.
Want to plan your trip ahead? Find a Chateau de Versailles plan here.
Or watch this quick video that tells you more about the Versailles gardens
There are also options for a Versailles tour from Paris as well as pre-purchasing Palace of Versailles tickets
Want to learn more about the history of Versailles or all the insider tips before you visit? Try these great resources.
Lonely Planet Versailles
History Of Versailles